If you are a landowner, then you are sure to have run into this situation. You own an awesome piece of property, perfect for hunting and all-around outdoor fun. You love it, but everyone you know has realized that you are the guy with the land. Which begs the question every landowner has to ask themselves “Should I allow hunting on my land?”.
So what do you do?
While it might seem like the courteous thing to allow people who ask to hunt on your land to do so. Have you considered the risks? Accidents on land are far less uncommon than you would think. Numerous types of incidents could lead to someone seeking compensation or a lawsuit. While you might not think you need hunting lease insurance specifically, here’s why you do.
Possible risks that Can Happen on Land
It’s just land, right? What could go wrong? Well, actually a lot of things can happen on land., Especially if you are not there to supervise it. A few of the high-risk activities include
While all of these things are typically safe under the right circumstances, that does not make you free of trouble. Any one of these things could lead to a situation when you allow hunting on your land and your guest attempts a lawsuit against you in the wrong situation. Full blog on possible hunting accidents here.
Also, remember that trespassers on your land can still file a lawsuit against you if they are injured on your land. Permission or not. Making an insurance policy that much more crucial.
An example would be
“Scenario 1. A responsible hunter is sitting in his tree stand on your property one fall morning. He hears footsteps and some rustling in the leaves behind him, and as he turns, he catches movement. Now he’s is certain it was a coyote. Then he hears the animal circle him and can see the shape of a small gray animal through the brush. He raises his gun…shoots, and kills…your neighbor’s dog! It was an accident, he claims, but the result is the same. The waiver the hunter signed? Useless now as your neighbor threatens to sue you over the lost pet.
One of the hunters leasing your land (signed a waiver only) has fallen from his tree stand. Actually, he was hunting a new area and unknowingly used his climbing tree stand (in the dark) to climb a dead tree. The entire tree snapped in half, sending him to serious injury. His recovery will be long, and his medical bills off the charts. Although he signed a waiver releasing you from liability, his wife did not. She is now faced with the unenviable task of providing for her family while her husband recovers. She may have no alternative but to sue you for damages caused by the alleged dead tree.”
Excerpt from article https://blog.ahuntinglease.org/hunters-insurance/
When it comes to problems occurring on your land, arguably the most difficult part is the financial reproductions. A small accident on your land can quickly turn into something that can cost you big.
The most common financial risk the compensation the landowner has to pay because their insurance was not enough OR not the type of coverage their land needed. SO make sure you know which cover5age is right for you. This blog post here covers that more in detail.
Oftentimes homeowners insurance will not cover or allow hunting on your property. Which makes any payments resulting on your property come directly from your pocket. Even if you win the case, you are still in for some serious legal fees.
As shown in the example above, you are one outside person’s mistake away from a lawsuit. While it might seem like allowing people to hunt your land is the NICE thing to do, it may not be the right thing for you to do responsibly. If you are trying to avoid this potential financial burden, consider a high-quality insurance policy through a reputable company, who understands your direct needs.
How To Minimize the Risks, Hunting Insurance
Risks on your land are, unfortunately, inevitable. Its people mixed with nature, which makes an extremely unpredictable duo. Even though there is no way other than not letting people use your land for hunting. There are ways to lower your chances of accidents on your land.
Now that you know what to look out for, here are some of the ways that you can mitigate the risk of liability on your property
- Prevent Vandalism/Trespassing:
- Limit Liability
- Avoid Damage
- Get Vacant Land Insurance
We have already written a full blog post about the best ways to avoid liability claims. Which you can check out here.
Differences in Insurance
Hunting lease insurance is a specific type of insurance that may not be covered by your others insurance policies. While it is not necessary, working with an industry-specific company usually proves to be the best move.
Consider these things when searching for your hunting insurance.
- Coverage –You need to know what specifically is covered. Ensure the policy covers incidents with any of the things you use to hunt. Such as ATV’s, firearms, dogs, treestands, and boats
- Cost – Many insurance companies offer “great” prices at the beginning of the process. Watch out for extra fees and companies charging more for the same exact coverage as someone else.
The question of whether you should allow friends to hunt your land is a hard one. If your land is well insured, save, and you trust the people using it. The chances of a problem are small. However, if you have not taken the proper steps to avoid liability on your land, you and your land will always be at risk.